Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 — Houston, TX

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Understanding the privilege and humility of a Rice education

(09/13/17 8:23pm)

In the span of less than a week as our semester started, together we experienced nature presenting us with both beauty and devastation. Coinciding with the first day of the semester, tens of millions of Americans watched in awe the beauty of the solar eclipse as it crossed coast to coast in a just a matter of hours. The end of that same week brought us Hurricane Harvey and massive destruction and loss of life from rain and floods. These two near coincident events, along with Hurricane Irma and the massive earthquake which wracked Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador, represent polar opposites of what our world brings us. The exhilaration of the elegance and beauty of the natural spectacle of the eclipse could not have had a more sobering counterpart than the pain and destruction of these natural disasters.

Find and delve deep into your passion

(08/24/16 4:44am)

I spent a lot of time this August thinking about which of many priorities I wanted to emphasize in this brief message to all of my students. And then, today (Sunday), I attended the memorial service for Lach Hristov, a 2015 chemistry graduate from Duncan College. Very sadly, we lost Lach 10 days ago in a tragic accident. He was about to start his graduate school career at Harvard University, having just completed a year as a Fulbright Fellow. The memorial was beautiful and deeply moving, a tribute to a young man called by his friend “a beautiful soul.” A family friend from his home reminded us that his full fi rst name Lachezar means “radiant light.” His parents could not have known when they named him how appropriate his name was, as he was defi nitely a brilliant light to the Rice community and the Duncan family and the chemistry faculty.

Hutchinson: Pause and reflect upon who you want to be

(08/27/15 4:51pm)

Sociology Professor Jenifer Bratter’s Orientation Week faculty address focused on “identity,” how we define ourselves and each other, and how these definitions are flexible. I was inspired by the power of her message, and it seemed to me to resonate with two of the themes I want us to think about and work on this year. In terms of identity, the questions are not “Who are you?” and “Who are we as a community?” but rather “Who do you want to be?” and “Who do we as a community want to be?” And these are not trivial questions.

Rice's Culture of Care serves as basis for current alcohol policy

(01/28/11 12:00am)

Since becoming the dean of undergraduates last summer, I have spoken in many venues, including the pages of the Thresher, about the most impressive aspect of the Rice student body: its long-standing and pervasive caring culture. Rice students individually give of themselves to educate each other, to watch out for each other, to encourage each other. And collectively, the Rice student body works to provide a support network that creates a healthy and caring community. This strength of our university defines a major part of who we are and how we live, so much so that my colleagues and I have begun describing this as a "Culture of Care." This is an initiative that focuses on the responsibility each of us has as a member of the Rice community and on the understanding that individual awareness, decision making and actions can make a vital difference in the lives of our fellow students and in the quality of our community. This initiative also emphasizes that the vitality of our community depends on the nurturing of this Culture of Care through conversation, education and responsible student self-governance. By placing additional attention on this aspect of Rice, we will highlight those areas in which we are successful in supporting one another and also address those areas which need greater support, resources or attention.

Great Expectations await new students

(08/20/10 12:00am)

In the past two months, I have been repeating one consistent theme to anyone and everyone about my philosophy as your new dean of undergraduates. That philosophy is based on many years of teaching Rice students in the classroom and working with them in the colleges. Succinctly put, it is this: When we have high expectations for our students and when we articulate these expectations, our students will invariably meet or exceed them. This simple theme runs throughout the entire Rice student experience, from the classrooms to the colleges to athletic fields. Over my years at Rice, I have found this to be so consistently true that I am convinced that the single most important thing that we as a university can do for you as a student is to set high expectations.